Kathmandu, March 8
Nepal Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (NIDCL) has said it will likely sign an agreement with Power China to construct the 52 kilometre-long Kathmandu-Kulekhani-Hetauda Tunnel (KKHT) highway project after its special annual general meeting.
Subash Chandra Thakuri, promoter of NIDCL, said that the company has called a special annual general meeting on March 23 to sign the agreement with Power China. He said that once the agreement has been signed the Chinese company will start construction works of the project.
According to Thakuri, NIDCL and Power China had agreed to build the multi-billion project as per joint development agreement on July 24 last year. The special annual general meeting is expected to approve that decision and pave the way for the implementation of the project. “We will also coordinate with the central and provincial governments for investment and other necessary support for the project.”
As per the initial agreement, Power China has pledged to invest more than 90 per cent of the project cost. As per the detailed project report (DPR), which was prepared by NIDCL, total cost of the project has been estimated at Rs 60 billion.
Thakuri added that the project will be developed through public-private partnership model. The company has finished the works of environmental impact assessment, project development agreement and the DPR. However, Power China has urged NIDCL to modify some of the provisions related to the cost and construction modality of the project. “After the special annual general meeting we have plans to hold a meeting with Power China regarding the cost and construction modality of the project.”
According to him, the Chinese company wants to construct a double-hole tunnel system in the Kulekhani to Hetauda section. The Chinese firm has also taken the responsibility to manage the funds through international banks and financial institutions.
Power China had submitted a technical construction proposal to NIDCL on January 13 after conducting a field visit of the project location.
As per the study, a 3.4-kilometre stretch of the project will be covered by tunnel and the highway will comprise of 26 bridges. The project will stretch from Kirtipur Municipality to Hetauda Sub-Metropolitan City and pass along Dakshinkali Municipality of Kathmandu and Indrasarovar Village Municipality of Makawanpur.
The proposed four-lane highway will be 50 metres wide. As per the study, the project will have to acquire 108 hectares of forest land and 90 hectares of private land.
A version of this article appears in print on March 09, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.